previews\ Mar 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

New Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 DLC Overview


While we were hanging out at the Game Developers Conference last week, Activision invited us up to their deluxe suite to check out some of their upcoming projects.  Among them was the latest downloadable content coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on the Xbox 360 this month (and PlayStation 3 on an unspecified date).  There were plenty of great missions to take on here, but the highlight has to be the new Black Box multiplayer map, as well as two Spec Ops missions that’ll get your blood boiling.

The Black Box map puts you in the midst of a afternoon-lit battlefield; there's a downed Air Force One plane in the middle of everything, and your team is scrambling to stay in one piece while working your way around.  It’s about as combat oriented as most Modern Warfare maps, and, as always, comes with the “hot spots” for each style of preferred player — whether you prefer duking it out in close combat with a SMG or picking off folks from afar with a sniper rifle.  Like with all of the competitive multiplayer, preparation is everything.

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Survival mode rocks, too.  As you get through each wave, you’ll gain access to laptops that provide access to various guns, as well as grenades and other goods, like incoming missiles and helicopter fly-bys.  You accumulate points for each kill that you ring up, and you can exchange them for these goods — helping to bolster your team as they face everyone from Juggernauts to “bomb dogs” (mutts strapped with C4).

But the big draw to this pack is the two new Spec Ops missions that will be available.  This marks the first time that Activision has released this specific kind of add-on for the series, and it certainly won’t be the last.

That explanation aside, let’s look at the missions.  The first is Black Ice, and it returns us to the snowmobiling section of the game for the first time since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  One guy steers the snowmobile through the snowy terrain, while the other sits on the back and fires at enemies coming in from behind.  This fast-paced section of the operation was incredibly well done, with lots of explosions and a fast 60 frames per second.  After getting off the snowmobile, we infiltrate a snowy base — the same one we rescue the Russian president from in MW3 — attempting to activate a self-destruct sequence.  The tricky part is getting in and clearing the enemies that stand in your way, then having to deal with a bunch of other ones as you try to escape while a countdown meter ticks away.  This is a tense, exciting mission that is sure to become a fan favorite.

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The second Spec Ops level is Negotiator, and this one’s a bit trickier.  This places you and your partner in captivity, awaiting execution by an enemy squad.  However, one of you manages to get free and has to quickly reach for a soldier’s gun and kill him and his squad mate.  From there, you’ll need to rush through the stage, first to free your partner and then to work your way through a war-torn village, rescuing hostages before the bad guys can execute them.  The game provides lots of challenge here, as your shots will pretty much need to be well-placed in order to avoid bloody executions.  This one also bumps up the intensity, especially with a few breach segments where everything slows down and requires you to make key shots in the midst of the explosion.

If you own an Xbox 360, you’ll be able to experience all this action in the next couple of weeks.  Elite subscribers can check out the Spec Ops missions and Black Box map tomorrow, while general subscribers can get it all in the Content Collection #1 when it releases on March 20.  Again, there’s no date on the PS3 content, but we’re guessing sometime in early May.

There’s a lot to look forward to here.  And Activision isn’t done yet.

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